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Shark’s Fin Melon Soup


Shark's Fin Melon Soup
Shark’s Fin Melon Soup 鱼翅瓜汤

Shark's Fin Melon Soup I am cooking shark’s fin melon soup! NOT shark’s fin + melon soup, but soup made from shark’s fin melon … so don’t worry, no sharks were killed in the making of this soup. As you may have guessed, shark’s fin melon got its name from its resemblance to shark’s fin, a popular and really expensive Chinese delicacy. When cooked (right photo), the strands of the melon separate a little, which really look like shark’s fin, and hence the name of its melon. Shark’s fin melon is really cheap – I bought a piece of the melon for only S$1.50. I was told that real shark’s fin on its own has no nutrition value and no taste, and the overall taste of the shark’s fin soup comes from its earthy broth of chicken, crab and other ingredients. This melon, on the other hand, is packed with lots of taste and nutrients, even my mum swears by the health benefits of this soup. If I am selling this soup, my sales pitch will be that “this soup is more nutritional and much, much cheaper than real sharks fin soup”. If you like this kind version of shark fin soup, do check out my imitation shark fin soup recipe where the fake fins are made with gelatin.

In Singapore, this melon is labeled as ‘Shark’s Fin Melon’ (鱼翅瓜). The flesh resembles winter melon but the green skin covering looks entirely different. According to Wiki, in other countries especially in the west, the other names of this melon are spaghetti squash (Cucurbita pepo), vegetable spaghetti, noodle squash, Spaghetti Marrow (in the UK) , squaghetti or Sharkfin Melon (鱼翅瓜). However, spaghetti squash and the other names may not be a 100% accurate translation, though it gives a good start. According to readers comments, the spaghetti squash in the west is sort of yellow/orange outside and inside. There may be a slight variation of breed from location to location.

(Serves two)

Ingredients for making Shark's Fin Melon Soup

- 1200ml water
- a small piece of shark’s fin melon (about 500-700g before skin & seeds removed)
- 200g pork ribs (or half chicken, skin removed and cut to small pieces)
- 2 honey red dates
- 6 red dates
- 1 tbsp wolfberries
- 1 tsp bitter almonds (optional)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
- 1 sweet corn, cut to chunks

Shark's Fin Melon
Shark’s Fin Melon (L: removing seeds with a spoon, R: cut into chunks)

1. Cut away the skin from the shark’s fin melon, scoop out the seeds using a spoon and cut the melon to big chunks (see photo above)
2. Blanch the pork ribs in a pot of water for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. Place the blanched pork ribs, cut melon chunks and the rest of the ingredients (except wolfberries) into a pot with the water. Bring to a boil, continue boiling over high heat for 10 minutes.
4. Reduce heat to a lower flame and simmer for at least another 30-40 minutes (and longer if you can). Add wolfberries at the last 15 minutes of cooking. You can also slow cook, or use a thermal pot (or whatever you have) to prolong the cooking to bring out the tastes.

Cooking Notes
1. The key ingredients are pork ribs, melon, wolfberries and red dates. The rest are additional ingredients to improve the taste so you can omit them if you do not have the ingredients.
2. Honey red dates make the soup very sweet. I added both red dates and honey red dates because I have both. You can add either one.

Who’s Also Cooking it

For an alternative way of cooking this soup, check out wokkingmum’s version, whereby she added cornflour solution to make it more starchy and this way of cooking bears even more resemblance to shark’s fin soup. Very interesting and creative!

I’m submitting this soup to Weekend Herb Blogging, a weekly food event started by Kalyn’s Kitchen and hosted this round by We Are Never Full.

On a different note, turns one! Actually, it turned one on 6 Oct, though I just realised it yesterday. Thank you for visiting my food blog :)


Leave a Comment

47 Responses to “Shark’s Fin Melon Soup”

  1. didally — October 21, 2008 @ 12:30 am

    Yummy! I love shark fin melon soup. Loves the texture, definitely prefer this to the real shark fin soup. Now I know how a honey red date looks like. :-)


  2. ladyhomechef — October 21, 2008 @ 1:24 am

    hmm….nice one! I used to make a lot of soups last time because I am only capable of making soups. Now quite seldom already. After reading your blog, I am thinking of making one next week….Thanks for sharing! :D


  3. Jude — October 21, 2008 @ 7:24 am

    I thought for a second it was real sharksfin. So that’s why it’s called spaghetti squash.


  4. wiffy — October 21, 2008 @ 8:14 am

    ladyironchef, I’m using 50mm f1.8… that’s the lens u’re using too ya ;p

    Jun, yes, this is definitely quite Chinese

    Susan, hehe try it and you’ll know ;p

    tigerfish, I bought it at NTUC =D

    lk, me too, I never realise it is also known as spaghetti squash until I search on wiki to find its alternative names. NTUC just label it as sharkfin melon … yes with a name like that I’m sure this soup is fitting for an “emperor” =D

    Katie, hehe but they are not exotic to people here, plus I have wrote everything I know on this blog XD

    Ning, hi 5! Can’t wait to see what you will make with it :p

    delia, hope you like it when you try it on Saturday ^o^

    TastesofHome, thanks! hope you find the melon =)

    beachlover, Thanks! maybe you should try it one day ;p

    lisa, thanks! Now I’m getting used to calling it spaghetti squash too.

    didally, thanks girl! and welcome back to Singapore =)

    ladyhomechef, thanks for visiting me! Ya Chinese soups are easier to make and healthy too =)

    Jude, hehe the title’s quite misleading ya … that’s why I have to add (aka spaghetti squash) and hopefully less people will be confused =x


  5. Kalyn — October 21, 2008 @ 9:28 am

    Congratulations on the one-year anniversary. This is such an interesting post. I’ve grown spaghetti squash in my garden for quite a few years now, and it’s similar but not exactly the same as the shark’s fin melon (at least from what I can see.) It does have the strands that string apart though. I would love to taste your soup.


  6. Joanna — October 21, 2008 @ 10:51 am

    i just heard about wolfberries yesterday! i didn’t think they were real, but i guess you’d be the second person i’ve seen use them. those dates are really cool. where do you get those different types?


  7. Dee — October 21, 2008 @ 12:01 pm

    Ooh, thank you thank you, Noobs! I really need more recipes like this – hint, hint :) I’m very interested in shark’s fin melon – never heard of it. Is there another name for it? Perhaps the Cantonese name, if you know it?


  8. _ts of [eatingclub] vancouver — October 21, 2008 @ 12:09 pm

    Oh! One! Congratulations!

    And hey, I didn’t know spaghetti squash was also known as shark’s fin squash! =) Although, it seems to be slightly different. The spaghetti squash here is sort of yellow/orange outside and inside. I’ll keep an eye out for the one you have (white inside, green outside) in our Chinese supermarkets.


  9. Wandering Chopsticks — October 21, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

    I just bought a spaghetti squash, haven’t gotten around to cooking it yet. But this looks like wintermelon to me. The spaghetti squash in the US I see are yellow with very shredded insides so we use them like noodles.

    The white and delicacy of this version looks just like shark’s fin indeed!


  10. wiffy — October 22, 2008 @ 11:52 am

    Hi Kalyn, thank you! =) Hmm yes now it does seem like spaghetti squash isn’t 100% the same as shark’s fin melon, though they are close … thanks for sharing ^^

    Joanna, wolfberries and red dates are pretty common in South East Asia, maybe you can try looking for them in Chinatown, or an asian dried goods/grocery store. Hope it helps =)

    Dee, glad u find the post useful ;p opps I dunno the Cantonese name … but I am quite sure you can find it where you are (M’sia) … hehe

    ts, thanks!! =) yes it does seem that they are slightly different. Hope you find it, can’t wait to see what you whip up with it!

    wc, one of the breeds of wintermelon sold here has 100% dark green skin, while the other is spotted, so I guess each type of melon has many varieties depending on where they are from? I’m interested to try the US version one day if I have a chance =)